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News in brief for February 18, 2017


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FPHC takes control of American Eye Institute

First Philippine Holdings Corporation, a member of the Lopez group of companies, has taken control of its venture into the health care business with the acquisition of an additional stake in Asian Eye Institute (AEI).  In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, FPHC said it has bought 149,999 common shares and 1 founder’s share in AEI from Dr. Felipe I. Tolentino for P19.5 million. With the purchase, FPHC will now own 50.57 percent of AEI, making AEI a subsidiary of FPHC. AEI is an eye institute with main offices at Rockwell Center, Makati which is also a development project of the Lopez group.  FPHC said the stake of Dr. Tolentino gave the company an additional 3.55 percent interest in AEI to make it a subsidiary after the 50 percent threshold was breached. The shares were acquired at P130 apiece, a 30 percent premium over the par value of P100 each. (JAL)


Nickel miner plans suit, to ship out ore

Marcventures Mining and Development, Corp, whose nickel mine was one of 23 ordered to closed by the environment department, said yesterday it will take legal action to overturn the ruling and plans to ship out ore next month. Marcventures’ mine in southern Philippines was among those ordered shut by Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Regina Lopez for environmental violations in a ruling that has led to an outcry from the industry. Another five of the 41 mines in the world’s largest nickel ore supplier were suspended. A unit of Marcventures Holdings, Inc., the company said its mine was ordered to close as it was located in a declared watershed, where mining is prohibited.

But the area was only declared a protected watershed by the government in 2009, while Marcventures secured its mining contract in 1993, the company said in a filing to the Philippine Stock Exchange. It also contested the agency’s finding that it failed to plant three million seedlings, saying efforts were underway and there was no basis for the closure order. “We will take all the necessary legal actions and exhaust all remedies available to prevent the implementation of the order,” it said. “We expect to operate as usual and to start shipments of nickel ore by first week of March, 2017.” (Reuters)

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